Overwhelmed teens can find validation in this faith-based guide.



A guide for teens trying to make sense out of intense feelings through a Christian lens.

Part workbook, part self-help guide, part Bible study, this handbook is geared toward those who experience big feelings and could use some support navigating the challenges that come with this territory. The author explains how the Bible can be a helpful guide to understanding and taking charge of one’s emotions: God and Jesus are framed as compassionate and encompassing big love themselves, an approach illuminated by carefully selected Scripture, such as poignant passages from the Bible. Each chapter tackles a different topic that can affect a sensitive teen, from relationships with family members to making friends and dating. Sections close with prompts for journaling, prayer suggestions, and additional Bible verses to explore on these things. Several quizzes help readers discover what type of feeler they are (big, steady, or reluctant) and how drama prone they may be, among other topics. While the book is labeled as being geared toward teens in general, gendered language and exclusively heterosexual relationship examples implicitly target a straight female audience. Concrete examples of turbulent emotional experiences given in the book are fairly light, and the author encourages readers to seek additional help if they are experiencing depression, abuse, or otherwise need more support.

Overwhelmed teens can find validation in this faith-based guide. (discussion guide) (Nonfiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: Oct. 5, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4964-5107-1

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Wander

Review Posted Online: Aug. 16, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2021

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Small but mighty necessary reading.


From the Pocket Change Collective series

A miniature manifesto for radical queer acceptance that weaves together the personal and political.

Eli, a cis gay white Jewish man, uses his own identities and experiences to frame and acknowledge his perspective. In the prologue, Eli compares the global Jewish community to the global queer community, noting, “We don’t always get it right, but the importance of showing up for other Jews has been carved into the DNA of what it means to be Jewish. It is my dream that queer people develop the same ideology—what I like to call a Global Queer Conscience.” He details his own isolating experiences as a queer adolescent in an Orthodox Jewish community and reflects on how he and so many others would have benefitted from a robust and supportive queer community. The rest of the book outlines 10 principles based on the belief that an expectation of mutual care and concern across various other dimensions of identity can be integrated into queer community values. Eli’s prose is clear, straightforward, and powerful. While he makes some choices that may be divisive—for example, using the initialism LGBTQIAA+ which includes “ally”—he always makes clear those are his personal choices and that the language is ever evolving.

Small but mighty necessary reading. (resources) (Nonfiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-09368-9

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

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Best enjoyed by preexisting fans of the author.


From the Pocket Change Collective series

Deaf, trans artist Man meditates on his journey and identity in this brief memoir.

Growing up in conservative central Pennsylvania was tough for the 21-year-old Deaf, genderqueer, pansexual, and biracial (Chinese/White Jewish) author. He describes his gender and sexual identity, his experiences of racism and ableism, and his desire to use his visibility as a YouTube personality, model, and actor to help other young people like him. He is open and vulnerable throughout, even choosing to reveal his birth name. Man shares his experiences of becoming deaf as a small child and at times feeling ostracized from the Deaf community but not how he arrived at his current Deaf identity. His description of his gender-identity development occasionally slips into a well-worn pink-and-blue binary. The text is accompanied and transcended by the author’s own intriguing, expressionistic line drawings. However, Man ultimately falls short of truly insightful reflection or analysis, offering a mostly surface-level account of his life that will likely not be compelling to readers who are not already fans. While his visibility and success as someone whose life represents multiple marginalized identities are valuable in themselves, this heartfelt personal chronicle would have benefited from deeper introspection.

Best enjoyed by preexisting fans of the author. (Memoir. 12-18)

Pub Date: June 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-22348-2

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: March 25, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2021

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